Talk of a grade point average increase spread like wildfire through the campus of Florida A&M University last week. The rumor stated that to continue being enrolled at the institution in 2019 students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
The rumor also said that to keep and secure future funds, Florida A&M had to come up with a plan to increase graduation rates as well as produce higher-performing students.
If this had been accurate, the overall makeup of the institution would change dramatically. What is currently a predominantly black institution would begin to turn into a predominantly white and or Hispanic one.
When asked how the rumored increase would directly affect him, Damion Franklin, replied, “A clear majority of my peers would be forced out of the university they love due to their inability to perform at a sufficient level compared to other students. I feel as though if the rumor is true, FAMU would be turning its back on the students that rely on the most.”
Kimberly Black, a School of Journalism and Graphic Communication advisor, said, “Right now there are changes in effect. No one knows what they are, but everything is just a proposal.”
While the rumor was deemed false, FAMU may be forced to make some drastic changes. At this week’s Board of Governors meeting in Orlando, FAMU ranked No. 10 out of 11 state universities and will receive no new performance-based funding. Meanwhile, our neighbor in Tallahassee, FSU received almost $100 million in performance-based funding.
The scores placed FAMU, UNF, and NCF in the bottom three all receiving no money from the state, while FSU, UF, and FIU were in the top three earning schools. In total the top three schools were allocated approximately $145 million.
The lack in funding forces students to push back their graduation due to lack of professors available to teach required classes. Consequence of a later graduation date is less money for the institution at hand.
Zedrina Jackson, a fourth year English education student said the reason she had to stay another year was because some classes are only available in one specific semester due to not enough professors.
To the joy of many FAMU students the grade point average increase rumor has been found to be false as of now. While the GPA remains the same, the administrators must find a way to increase the metric score. An increase in scoring means an increase in allocated funds.